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ABSTRACT

The influence of the active compound of Moringa oleifera Lam (MO) seeds was evaluated by different methods for the preparation of the natural coagulant in the treatment of surface water. Nine methods were analyzed, comprising samples of seed powder with different granulometry, aqueous and saline solutions, evaluated before and after oil extraction from MO seeds. Tests of coagulation/flocculation and sedimentation were accomplished using simple Jar Test. Natural coagulant dose of 50 mg.L-1 identified the best preparation methods in terms of removal efficiency of the quality parameters. Doses of whole powder coagulant, whole and defatted solution (saline) in concentrations between 10 mg. L -1 and 200 mg/L -1 were then added for the treatment of water turbidity to 70 NTU. The whole powder coagulant constituted a good preparation of the natural coagulant with a high potentiality for the treatment of water and may be used by populations in developing countries in which facilities for the treatment of drinking water are lacking.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

Water remains a universal solvent on Earth whose main sources include rivers, springs, wells, boreholes and other fresh water bodies. These sources provide water for drinking and domestic uses including cooking, and will generally constitute an exposure pathway for contaminants to reach the population (O. Fasunwon, J. Olowofela, O. Akinyemi and O. Akintokun, 2008). The normal process of water purification using aluminium sulphate (alum) and calcium hypochlorite, puts pressure on the nation’s over-burdened financial resources since they are imported thereby making treated water very expensive in most developing countries and beyond the reach of most rural folks. Hence, they resort to sources such as dams, dug outs, streams, rivers, and lakes. Water from these sources is usually turbid and contaminated with microorganisms that cause many diseases including guinea worm and bilharzia. According to Postnote (2002), waterborne diseases are one of the major problems in developing countries; about 1.6 million people are compelled to use contaminated water and more than a million people (of which two million are children) die from diarrhoea each year.

Drinking water is vital for living things, and the access to safe and clean drinking water is a major concern throughout the world. Producing potable water from surface water or ground water usually involves one or several treatment steps for removing unwanted substances. When surface water is used as raw water, turbidity removal is often an essential part of the treatment process. In order to make clean water an available resource for as many people as possible, cheap, simple, robust and efficient process methods are necessary. (Davis 2006)

As stated by Ali et al.,2009, among the best water treatment method in the water treatment industry before distributing them to the consumers in the past, is coagulation-flocculation that is followed by sedimentation, filtration and disinfection, which is usually done using chlorine. But nowadays, in the water treatment latest technology, they are using chemicals such as aluminum sulphate which is a synthetic coagulant to enhance the water purification. Drinking water source for majority of the expanding and growing countries was limited mostly to river water and the treatment processes is heavily depended on the chemicals that is used as water treatment agents such as aluminum sulphate but however, even those chemicals are mostly imported and are expensive (Egboka 1989). Most studies indicates that Moringa oleifera is an efficient coagulant for the removal of turbidity in both water and waste water treatment. While other studies reveals that Moringa oleifera is a plant inexpensive and a credible alternative for providing good nutrition and to cure and prevent a lot of diseases (Ritu Paliwal, Veena Sharma and Pracheta. 2011).

The usage of aluminum sulphate as coagulant also causes the water to be acidic and hence to neutralize the water, lime will be needed to balance the pH of the water. This is known as pH adjustment where it is added to the water during treatment process and is regarded as another added cost for water treatment companies. Other than its cost, among the reasons why there should be a plant based coagulant to replace synthetic coagulants is due to aluminum sulphate threatening properties in drinking water. Coagulants that occurred naturally are regarded as safe in terms of health for human while synthetic coagulants, especially aluminum salt, has probability inducing Alzheimer’s disease . This is supported by other studies where rising health risks was mentioned from drinking the water with residual aluminum left in it such as neurodegenerative illness..

Moringa oleifera is one of the natural coagulants that have been tested over the years as an alternative to the use of inorganic and synthetic coagulants. Disadvantages of inorganic and synthetic coagulants are it causes Alzheimer’s disease and similar health related problems, reduction of pH, high costs, production of large sludge volume and low efficiency in coagulation of cold water.

Moringa oleifera has potential in water treatment as a coagulant, a soften agent and bactericidal agent. Advantages of it serve as a natural coagulant are its low cost, produces lesser volume of biodegradable sludge, and it does not affect the pH of the water. It is a sustainable, low cost, locally available, simple, reliable, acceptable, eco-friendly and household level point of use water treatment coagulant/technology most suitable for developing countries where major population use contaminated water for drinking purposes.

1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

Moringa oleifera is the best natural coagulant that can replace aluminium sulphate (Alum) which is widely used all around the world (Eman N. Ali et., 2009). The Moringa oleifera (MO) tree grows in tropical and subtropical regions around the world and its seeds have been used in drinking water treatment in small scale in Nigeria for generations. The coagulant in the seed is a protein that acts as a cationic polyelectrolyte. The soluble particles in the water attaches to the active agent that binds them together creating large flock in the water. Aqueous extract of Moringa oleifera showed strong and superior antibacterial activity against bacterial strains such as Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Eschreiashia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Abdulmoneim M. Saadabi and I.E.Abu Zaid. 2011.

Acid extract of natural polyelectrolyte Moringa oleifera seed is very effective as a coagulant for removal of fluoride from water (Vivek Vardhan.C.M and Karthikeyan.J. 2011). Removal of turbidity and hardness can simultaneously be done by using Moringa oliefera seed extract with 1.0M sodium chloride solution (MO-Nacl) (Muhammad Ridwan et., 2011). Moringa oliefera seed extract against E. coli by TVC method reduced >99.9% E.coli count (Jadhav Swapnali Mohan, Bipinraj N K and Milind R Gidde. 2008). Efficient reduction (80.0% to 99.5%) of high turbidity produces an aesthetically clear supernatant, concurrently accompanied by 90.00% to 99.99% bacterial reduction (Michael Lea. 2010.). Thus as a solution to the problem that has been stated, Moringa oleifera can be used as an alternative to replace synthetic aluminum to reduce the turbidity of the water and make it more suitable and safe to be consumed by humans. This study thus, was aimed to compare the efficiency of seed extracts of Moringa oleifera and aluminum sulphate in treating water that is used for drinking purposes and also to look into a deeper depth of how the water quality factors (turbidity, pH, conductivity and temperature) affects the efficiency of aluminum sulphate and Moringa oleifera dosage when it is used for the groundwater sample. The need for simple, reliable and effective method of water treatment led to the application of plant materials, including seed coagulants of Moringa oleifera.

1.3 AIMS /OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

The overall aim of this study is to assess the possibility of using Moringa olifera seed as an alternative to the currently used coagulant, to purify slug water. An important part of the study is also to contribute to further understanding of the main factors affecting coagulation and flocculation mechanisms using Moringa seed.

The more specific objectives for this study include :

  1. Evaluate the optimum dosage of Moringa seed for different levels of turbidity, and its removal efficiency on each level.
  2. Compare the treatment efficiency of Moringa seed to that of aluminium sulphate
  • Find a suitable method of preparation for the Moringa seed as a  coagulant, and establish a procedure manual for the preparation, use and dosage of Moringa in order to use it for drinking water treatment
  1. Investigate the possibilities of using Moringa seed in an industrial scale, regarding availability and reliability of production and distribution

1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

HO: The optimum dosage of moringa seed does not affects the turbidity of purified water

H1: The optimum dosage of moringa seed affects the turbidity of purified water

HO: Moringa olifera seed as a coagulant is not effective in slug water purification as aluminum sulphate.

H2: Moringa olifera seed as a coagulant is effective in slug water purification as aluminum sulphate.

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

Moringa oleifera as a coagulant agent provides significant results, which justifies its use as an alternative coagulant in the process of coagulation/flocculation of water production as in the case of National water board. Concentrations of heavy metals are usually high in rivers near the industrial areas and their concentration is high in pre monsoon period. Different technologies may be applied to diminish these levels in water for consumption. This study will investigate the water treatment potential of Moringa oleifera seeds as a coagulant with double filtration for removal of heavy metals. Thus, at the completion of the study the findings will be relevant to; those in the riverian area, health workers, beverages companies, NAFDAC and students from science departments.

1.6 SCOPE OF STUDY                                                                     

The topic of this nature that has to do with heavy metal and physic of chemical assessment of slug water purified with moringa olifera seeds is broad in nature, and as such it’s difficult to gather information from relevant source in the state. As a result of this, the researcher limits his research to National water board, Kaduna state.

1.7 LIMITATION OF STUDY

This research experienced limitations such as:

AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research materials available to the researcher at the time of this study were insufficient, thereby limiting the study.

Time: the time at the disposal of the researcher which was allocated for the study was a major limitation as the researcher had to combine other

Finance: The finance at the disposal of the researcher in the course of the study could not permit wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Heavy metal: Heavy metals are generally defined as metals with relatively high densities, atomic weights, or atomic numbers.

Slug water: Slugs’ bodies are made up mostly of water and, without a full-sized shell, their soft tissues are prone to desiccation.

Coagulant: is defined as a substance that causes blood or another liquid to coagulate.

Purification: is defined as the removal of contaminants from something.

Moringa oleifera: Moringa oleifera is the most widely cultivated species of the genus Moringa, which is the only genus in the family Moringaceae

Rapid filters: The rapid sand filter or rapid gravity filter is a type of filter used in water purification and is commonly used in municipal drinking water facilities as part of a multiple-stage treatment system.

Roughing filters: Roughing filters are often used to pretreat water by removing suspended solids from the water that could rapidly clog a slow sand filter. Roughing filters can also considerably reduce the number of pathogens in the water, as well as the amount of iron and manganese.

Turbidity: Turbidity is the cloudiness or haziness of a fluid caused by large numbers of individual particles that are generally invisible to the naked eye, similar to smoke in air. The measurement of turbidity is a key test of water quality.

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